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6 comments | Monday, November 10, 2008







Taking a break from the harsh realities of inequality covered last week and shifting my focus toward an emerging choreographer who is taking the commercial dance world by storm. You may have never heard of Jaquel Knight but if you've seen Beyonce's latest video "Single Ladies"then you're definitely familiar with his work.


A new transplant to Los Angeles via Atlanta, Jaquel was tapped by longtime Destiny's Child and Beyonce choreographer Frank Gatson to create the choreography for the diva's first single off of her forthcoming album I Am...Sasha Fierce.


Jaquel's amazing choreography, the dancers, and the strangely familiar concept for the video has been the subject of online adulation and gossip since it's release.


If Madonna introduced the masses to voguing then Jaquel and Beyonce are introducing pop culture to J-setting. But make no mistake about it, neither diva invented the art forms, but gay men on the ballroom floors of New York City and black college female dance teams deserve all of the credit.


J-setting as choreographed by Jaquel for Beyonce dominates black gay clubs in the south and is featured this week in Atlanta's Southern Voice.


Beyoncé’s celebration of J-setting in “Single Ladies”is an even more explicit kiss to gay culture than when she implored listeners to “walk across the room like Naomi Campbell” in “Get Me Bodied” from 2006’s “B-Day” album, says SOVO reporter Ryan Lee.


While Beyonce's commitment to the gay community may be questionable unlike fellow divas Jennifer Hudson or Patti LaBelle, the kids love her and she has no shortage of black gay men on her creative team.


The popularity of Jaquel's choreography is reminiscent of Tina Landon's choreography for Janet Jackson's "If" and is being mastered and performed by amateurs and professionals alike, one simple YouTube search proves my point.


At 19 years old Jaquel's amazing talent is just beginning to blossom and it'll be exciting to see what he'll create next.


Get into "Single Ladies" below and two of my favorite amateur You Tube videos of Jaquel's choreography.








6 Comments:

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

NINETEEN YEARS OLD???!!! Wow. That is extraordinary. Maybe we have another Fosse in our midst.

December 28, 2008 11:06 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

HONESTLY I JUST FAIL IN LOVE WITH JAQUEL.....HIS VERY TALENT AND HAS SO MUCH FUNK AND SEX APPEAL IN HIS WORK AND HIS YOUTUBE VIDEOS ARE THE BEST...... I WISH HIM AND THE BEST OF LUCK IN THE FUTURE AND WOULD LOVE TO DANCE LIKE HIM ONE DAY

June 23, 2009 3:40 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

LITTLE CORRECTION!

Great article! Only one flaw: J-SETTING ORIGINATED IN THE SOUTH, baby! I'm from NYC and I NEVER once saw J-setting till I went to Atlanta and Houston Gay Prides. NY has a form of vogue indeed started by Madonna. But it is definitely NOT J-settin! The original j-setting originated at Jackson State University by the sorority's troupe "J-Sette" in Mississippi and the gays picked it up and have been 8-counting all over the south. That's how Atlanta-based Jaquel got that DNA! Gotta let the South get the credit for this one. :)

September 24, 2009 11:15 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I taught Jaquel at his high school Alma Mater in Tucker, Georgia, and I can tell you that he is as intelligent, kind, and long-term talented as he seems! Congratulations, Jaquel. Come see us soon!

September 26, 2009 4:24 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

If you are in the Los Angeles area on Friday, October 16 he is teaching at Master Class/Workshop at IDA.

http://www.idahollywood.com

(323) 463-8865

Amazing Dance Studio located in Hollywood - home to "American's Best Dance Crew", "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars".

October 01, 2009 6:18 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Man it's fuuny 2 know that me and him were cool and also next door neighbors growing up and 2 hear he is doing this @ only 19 is awesome...Im happy 4 him and wish him the best of luck

January 28, 2010 12:09 AM

 

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